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Johns Hopkins Professors to Receive $13.4 Million for MS Research - 09/20/2017

Johns Hopkins Professors to Receive $13.4 Million for MS Research

Release Date: September 20, 2017
Ellen Mowry
Ellen Mowry, M.D., M.C.R.
Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine

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Ellen Mowry, M.D., M.C.R., an associate professor of neurology and epidemiology, and Scott Newsome, D.O., an associate professor of neurology, both of the Johns Hopkins University Department of Neurology, have been approved for a $13.4 million funding award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to conduct a study comparing two treatment options for people newly diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Mowry and Newsome are part of a collaborative team of investigators at the Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Multiple Sclerosis, where they focus on improved discovery of prognostic factors in MS as well as translating their findings to investigator-initiated clinical trials.

“This PCORI project will be a tremendous step forward for improving the understanding of how to best approach the treatment of MS,” Mowry says. “Currently, it is difficult to know whether a group of newer medications that may be more likely to reduce early, episodic MS symptoms actually leads to a meaningful reduction in the long-term risk of more permanent disability. Since the newer medications come with substantially more risks, it’s important to determine if people with MS should be offered such medications at the time of diagnosis or if it’s appropriate to start with older medications, changing to the newer therapies only if the disease remains active despite the treatment.”

PCORI’s board has approved the award to Mowry and Newsome pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract.

PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health care decisions.